Valtteri Bottas lead a Mercedes one two in the second practice session for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The Finn was a hundredth faster than his teammate Sir Lewis Hamilton, after Charles Leclerc’s fastest time was deleted for exceeding track limits.
Bottas set his fastest time on the medium tyres going faster than his Mercedes teammate Hamilton, who struggled on the soft which should have been quicker. Leclerc’s time was faster by two tenths, but he exceeded track limits at Piratella leading to his time being deleted.
Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly again proved competitive only a tenth behind Bottas on the soft tyre, but as usual the pace of the two Mercedes remains unknown as they tend not to show their true performance in practice. However, they d
idn’t manage to find any major gains during the session.
Leclerc also set the pace early on, before bringing the session to an early end when he crashed at the second Rivazza corner in final minutes. Much like in the day’s opening session, the first fifteen minutes of the session were very busy, with several drivers enjoying time at the top of the standings.
Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz was fourth fastest, the Spaniards best lap being half a second behind the Monacan. However, he did have a quicker lap time outlawed for track limits, and both their times were set on the medium tyre, but still Mercedes are expected to be faster in qualifying.
Leclerc was able to get back ahead as his medium tyre run continued, but he lost what was then his best time for running too wide through the Piratella corner at the top of the track’s steep hill in the second sector. Bottas soon bettered his time to end the session fastest.
Sergio Perez had a low key session after Verstappen’s early stoppage. Verstappen had looked to be matching Mercedes’ early session times on the mediums, but as he exited Rivazza on a lap at the end of the opening 10 minutes he reported “something snapped on the rear”, a suspected driveshaft issue, and he pulled over at the end of the pitlane exit.
Yuki Tsunoda was seventh fastest ahead of Lando Norris, who had a trip through the gravel at Tamburello early in the session, ending up in eighth.
Antonio Giovinazzi was ninth for Alfa Romeo, with Lance Stroll rounding out the top ten for Aston Martin ahead of the Alpine pair Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.